India Expresses Desire for Iron Dome System
by Zach Pontz
India wants the Iron Dome defense system. Defense News reports that India and Israel are cooperating on the development of weapons systems and that India’s main wish is to acquire the Iron Dome on a “buy and build” basis. This means India wants to acquire it and obtain a license from Israel for its manufacture.
An Indian source told Defense News that Israel had agreed to sell the system to India, but was hesitant about selling the technology needed to manufacture it. The U.S., which helped fund the Iron Dome’s development, has not said publicly whether it backs the deal.
According to the Indo-Asian News Service India is the largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel is the second-largest military partner of India after Russian with trade hovering around $9 billion.
Globes reports that the list of future projects discussed during a meeting between Ministry of Defense director general Udi Shani and India’s Defense Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma last week in India included a plan to develop aircraft-launched micro-satellites, as well as plans to develop laser-guided missiles and munitions.
According to an Israeli defense source, other possible plans include specialized radar systems, such as an airborne system for Indian-made light combat planes, and a long-range system for tracking ballistic missiles. However it is uncertain whether any agreement was reached on these plans.